Tasty Holiday Meals for Challenging Diets

Happy Holidays to all of you! I wish you a blessed and joyous season, gathered around the table with family and friends and cooking delicious, healthy food.

I sent out an email last week about the challenges of serving those who follow diets that used to fall far outside the mainstream. Vegan, gluten free, dairy free, ketogenic and paleo are a few of the most common diets we follow or hear about, and it’s easier than you may think to accommodate them with dishes that will please everybody at the table.

I was taken by surprise by how many folks responded to the newsletter. In case you missed it, here’s what I wrote:

This is the time when family and friends gather to share a traditional meal—and some of them bring their not-so-traditional diets along.

I am often asked by friends or clients what they should do when they have a guest with a certain dietary restriction: vegan, gluten free or dairy free, for instance. I find any meal can be adapted for our loved ones with challenging diets, and the food can be delicious and enjoyed by everyone.

Let’s consider a few simple steps:

• Butter can easily be replaced with extra virgin olive oil.

• Gluten can be replaced with rice flour.

• If you want to thicken your gravy, use basmati organic rice flour. I clean out my coffee grinder and make my own rice powder.

• Any squash stuffed with a mushroom and rice blend and seasoned with sage and thyme is just fabulous.

How do we make a delicious stuffing for the gluten free diet? Our mushroom stuffing with corn bread, wild rice and sage is one killer recipe that can easily be dairy full or dairy free! 

In case your guests are sticking to their ketogenic diet, here are a few ideas that are super keto friendly:

• Deviled eggs with chives and bacon

• Celery filled with either cream cheese or sour cream and leeks: Mince some leeks and a few olives and fold into either sour cream or cream cheese and spread into celery sticks.

Our favorite brands are Wallaby organic sour cream and Nancy’s organic, probiotic cream cheese (snapshot at left). Vineyard Grocer carries them.

 

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